UCP Bluegrass Benefit stands the test of time

Annual favorite Dave Branscum Band to participate in UCP fundraiser. (Source: Dave Branscum)
Annual favorite Dave Branscum Band to participate in UCP fundraiser. (Source: Dave Branscum)
Murphy Bluegrass Boys Band to be featured at 34th annual UCP fundraising event. (Source: Murphy Bluegrass Boys)
Murphy Bluegrass Boys Band to be featured at 34th annual UCP fundraising event. (Source: Murphy Bluegrass Boys)

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - The Northeast Arkansas Bluegrass Association's United Cerebral Palsy Bluegrass Benefit Show marked 34 years on Saturday, Jan. 14 at the Collins Theatre.

The evening's entertainment featured the Keisler Brothers, the Crowley's Ridge Cloggers, Bucksnort Hill and Grand Prairie from Cabot.

"Anyone who has been up to Mountain View, they know who Dave (Branscum) is," Mark Taylor, of the Northeast Arkansas Bluegrass Association said. "I had the opportunity to meet him and I'm really excited for him to bring his band up. Another great band is from Cabot. Grand Prairie has been here to help us out many, many times. They always put on a great show."

Fredia Bryant helped to start the UCP Bluegrass Benefit Show 34 years ago.

"When they approached me, I said that the only way that I would do it was to know that the money stays in our area," Bryant said. "I want it to help our kids. And they assured me of that. I've talked to a lot of the moms and dads and I say, 'Do they help you with wheelchairs, walkers, education and whatever?' I haven't had one yet that said they didn't get to help. Everybody says the money stays right here in Northeast Arkansas."

Christen McClain, a mother to a 7-year-old boy with a disability, attended the benefit concert in support of her child.

"It's important because he needs stuff," McClain said as she looked at her son. "We are about to get a stroller. He has a wheelchair, but it is so heavy for us to tote around, so the stroller is going to help a lot."

McClain said without the people who selflessly give to the UCP, she and other families would be left without help.

"There are some families that don't have any help, and with the UCP and with all the therapies and with everything they are helping with, we would be lost without it," McClain said.

About 175 people attended the benefit concert. All the ticket proceeds are donated to United Cerebral Palsy of Northeast Arkansas Chapter.

The UCP Telethon airs Sunday, Jan. 29 on KAIT-TV.

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